Getting physical: ASU students can take these electives to get moving and earn credits

From salsa dancing to piano, electives allow students to fulfill credit requirements and pick up new hobbies

For students on the hunt for extra credits, a new hobby or a good workout, there are many different physical art electives to explore their creative sides.

Some may think it is too late to start back up again. However, ASU provides them with the opportunity to fit it into their busy schedules.

ASU hosts a variety of classes: ballet, salsa dancing, yoga, ping pong, piano and many more.  The classes help with technique and performing live, all are available on the ASU website's class search. 

Ellie Wilson, an exploratory freshman, said that the various electives help explore different subjects. 

“It gives you an opportunity to learn something about yourself and learn about another major that you think is interesting, not to pursue as a career, but as a hobby,” Wilson said. “I think it is important to have different activities that you can do, not just for a paid position, but because you love to do it.”

 Graduate student Ciera Duran said her salsa dancing classes give her a chance to relax.

“I like them because they give you a break from reality,” Duran said.

Stacy Wisniewski, formerly Welker, a ballet teacher at ASU and a graduate student at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, said taking these electives can also help students who had to move far away from home for college.

“It is really nice for students who are going away from home for the first time and if they danced growing up, to be able to maintain that, just as a source of stress relief and creative outlet,” said Wisniewski.

The classes are there for a wide range of students — from beginners to students who have focused on these subjects their whole lives.

“You also get students in there who have never had the opportunity of doing something like that but they have always wanted to," she said. "I think dancing in particular but the arts in general, just provides another way of knowing and experiencing life and I think it is important at this age.”

Not only do the classes give students a mental break from the usual workload that comes along with being a college student, they also give them an opportunity to gain skills outside their specific major.

Studies show that exercise improves focus, concentration, brain development and memory, among other things.

Duran, who has taken both yoga and salsa dancing, said she learned skills that she never would have learned if she stayed inside of her major.

“In my salsa dancing class, I learned eye contact and how to connect with people," Duran said. "It gave me confidence."

Since all majors require a certain amount of credits to graduate, taking various electives can help fulfill this requirement.

“It gives students a more balanced schedule to be able to take different types of subjects and to expose them to activities that they might not have exposure to otherwise, and gives them the opportunity to do it for an academic credit, so it’s still work towards their degree but adds a more dynamic element,” ASU academic adviser Monica Keyes said. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @emily_ditomasso on Twitter.

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